It was 1983 and Dick Bradsell was tending bar at the Soho Brassiere in London when, as the story goes, an American model approached the bar and asked him to make her a drink that “wakes me up and then fucks me up.” With the coffee machine sitting next to his bar station, and it being the heyday of vodka, the Vodka Espresso was born, originally served on the rocks.
“I suppose it was inevitable that these two bastions of psychosomatic alteration should one day combine forces to become allies in the fight for a good night out,” writes Tristan Stephenson in The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee.
Whether or not that is the true story behind the invention of the Espresso Martini seems beside the point
Years later Dick was behind the bar at MATCH and started serving the drink straight up under the name the Espresso Martini. Quickly becoming a global phenomenon, the universally popular drink is best made using good quality espresso both for flavour and texture. Step away from the instant coffee.